Nashville SC has sold more than 20,000 tickets to its home opener Saturday at Nissan Stadium, the team announced in a tweet Friday.
The USL record for a first-year team’s home debut is 20,231. That mark appears to be in serious jeopardy. A walk-up crowd numbering into the thousands is possible, and tickets are still on sale, of course.
Another mark Nashville SC may be poised to break is the season ticket sales mark for a first-year team. The organization announced it was fewer than 500 season tickets from setting that record, then clarified that ticket sales after the home opener will count toward that total.
Credit the team for a dynamic communications and marketing blitz that included billboards, television appearances, a social media campaign and special events aimed at raising awareness throughout Music City.
Credit the fans, too. Just as they did for the Gold Cup and International Champions Cup last summer, Nashville soccer supporters exceeded expectations. Last month, we predicted a turnout of 17,500 for this match.
We were wrong.
How does the 20K mark hold up? Among USL teams, only FC Cincinnati has a stadium that holds that many fans. FCC averaged just over 21,000 supporters per match last year, nearly double second-place Sacramento’s mark.
Nashville’s primary venue, First Tennessee Park, seats 10,000. So if Nashville can sell out the bulk of its 2018 matches and enjoy successful turnouts during its two announced contests at Nissan Stadium, it will have a shot at finishing second in the league in attendance this season.